State Forests will have more eyes in the sky this fire season, while the RFS have been forced into a change of tactics in some locations as the drought limits firefighting capabilities.
The Forestry Corporation have enlisted the very latest in drone technology to “quickly identify the location and start managing a bushfire before it requires a larger response.”
The new technology has already paid off, with a fire in the thick Pilliga scrub located in just minutes and not given the chance to get out of hand according to Fire Training and Operations Officer Adrien Thompson.
“Our trained drone operators can deploy a drone in minutes to get an accurate fire location and start to understand its behaviour,” he said.
“While this makes firefighting more effective, it also means we have fewer people on the ground in dangerous conditions.
“A drone operator can quickly identify where fires are and send crew directly to the location, rather than having staff drive around trying to locate it.”
Meanwhile Tamworth RFS Superintendent Allyn Purkis said that local crews have been busy preparing for the upcoming fire season, training in tactics to manage fires without water.
“Dams are empty, which is a real challenge for us,” he said.
“We have been training in tactics to overcome that with what we have.”
“We are going to have to do a lot of falling back to empty paddocks and back burning, rather than directly attacking fires, or driving into the scrub.
“The paddocks are pretty empty at the moment, but there is plenty of fuel in the forests – lightning strikes are going to take very quickly.”
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